Europe is now on its own. The election of Donald Trump to the White House means that the European Union must now shed all illusions. It will stand, or fall, on the basis of its own efforts, own resources, own political will.
Muddling through, the constant refrain of the complacent, must be rejected, wholeheartedly. To rely on gradualism, incremental reforms, kicking cans down the road, is to make collapse ever likelier.
Just as after the Brexit referendum on June 23rd, the happiest people on the European continent now will be President Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen.
Russia's president will be happy because western unity over Ukraine, sanctions and Syria will now be in serious doubt. He will have someone in the White House who reminds him of Silvio Berlusconi: someone always eager for a deal.
Marine Le Pen will be happy because no one can now treat her ambition to win the French presidency next May as impossible. It may still be unlikely. But so was the idea of America voting for a candidate who is a racist, misogynist, serial liar and whose few concrete policy proposals include renouncing free trade deals and blocking immigration.
So Europe needs to wake up and make its own coffee. It needs to shake its economies out of their jobless torpor by relaxing fiscal austerity, building more infrastructure and building a proper single market.
It needs to shake its foreign policy out of its defeatist, nationalist torpor by acting together, in the Mediterranean, in coping with asylum-seekers, in supporting the Baltic States in standing up to Russia.
It needs to become Europe again, instead of a squabbling bunch of complacent losers.
The Wake Up Foundation
November 9th 2016
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